The television advertisement featuring an image of a Supermac’s 5oz beef burger was accompanied by a male voiceover (MVO) who referred to the following:
“At Supermac’s we understand Irish appetites so we know as well as you do that good things don't need too much messing around. Take our new 5oz beef burger. Is it fresh? Absolutely, it's never been frozen. Is it Irish? 100%, sure we know the farmer. So what makes it different from our international competitors? Well it's fresh, never frozen, 100% Irish beef and cooked to order. Perfection. Give your hunger what it wants and feed it something delicious. The new Supermac's 5oz beef burger.”
The on screen text accompanying the 5oz burger pointed to the contents of the burger and read:
“Fresh bun, pickles, lettuce, tomato, our famous burger sauce, 100% fresh Irish beef, Irish cheese.”
The complainants, Burger King, said they considered that the statement used in the advertisement 'What makes us different to our international competitors, it’s fresh, never frozen, 100% Irish beef….’ had been phrased in such a way to indicate to consumers that other competitors did not use 100% Irish beef in their burgers. They considered this statement to be misleading. Burger King said they also served 100% Irish beef burgers, guaranteeing quality to their customers and indeed portraying their commitment to Irish farmers.
The complainants said they also considered that the second statement made in the advertisement “What makes Supermac’s different to International competitors is that its products are ‘cooked to order’” to be inaccurate and misleading as Burger King make every Whopper sandwich to order.
The advertisers said that what they had stated in their advertisement in relation to their 5oz beef burger was ‘What makes us different to our international competitors, it’s fresh, never frozen, 100% Irish Beef…’ They said they were the only large quick food service food restaurant chain in Ireland to serve fresh, never frozen Irish Beef. They said that it was the combination of all of the three selling points referenced in their advertising that made them different to other competitors in the marketplace i.e. their 5oz burgers were “100% Irish, fresh never frozen and cooked to order.”
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the relevant claims were “. So what makes it different from our international competitors? Well it's fresh, never frozen, 100% Irish beef and cooked to order.” They also noted that the advertisers had considered that it was the combination of all the points that was the differentiator to their international competitors.
The Committee considered that when taken as a whole and when in context the statement would be taken as a composite claim and in the circumstances was unlikely to mislead. They did not consider that it was in breach of sections 2.9, 2.22, 2.51 and 2.52 of the Code.
No further action was required in relation to this advertisement. While no action was required in relation to the current ad in full, the Committee noted that care was needed when making comparative claims.